The Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste and Mayor Issa Kassis of Ramallah, Palestine have formally signed a City to City Friendship Agreement.
Following a report to the Dublin City Council Protocol Committee in June 2023 it was agreed to proceed with the signing of the Friendship Agreement. Subsequently, the Breviate of the Protocol meeting was adopted at the 6th November 2023 Dublin City Council Meeting.
Areas of possible mutual interest between the two cities include:
Sustainable Transport / Active Travel
Municipal Services in particular waste management
The Lord Mayor said, “I very much welcome the signing of this Friendship Agreement between our two cities. The cities of Dublin and Ramallah agree that both of us will work together to examine issues of common interest and to look for areas of future cooperation. The aim of this Friendship Agreement is to contribute to the strengthening of friendly relations between our two cities.”
Ramallah is the 5th city that Dublin has a twinning agreement with. The others are San Jose in the USA (1986), Liverpool (1997), Barcelona (1998), and Beijing (2010).
The signing of a formal Twinning agreement facilitates the setting up of a long-term, trusting relationship. Its form and content are not fixed and may be amended depending on the specific nature of the partnership that is being set up according to partners’ wishes.
Several visits to Palestine by Councillors and staff from Dublin City Council have been held over the past ten years including in 2017 by Lord Mayor Brendan Carr, in 2018 by Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha and in 2022 by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland.
In December 2022, the then Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan met with Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid to discuss the potential for cooperation between the two cities.
Following this meeting, the Chief Executive wrote to Ramallah Municipality to ascertain the interest in developing the connection between Dublin City Council and the Municipality of Ramallah at both political and official levels, based on the sharing of knowledge/expertise in areas of mutual interest and benefit.
The Chief Executive spoke to the Director of Ramallah Municipal Authority Mr. Ahmed K. Abulaban on 11th April and Mr Abulaban confirmed that Ramallah Municipal Authority was appreciative of the ongoing political links with Dublin City Council, would be keen to develop the connection with Dublin City Council to cover areas of mutual interest and would be keen to enter into an agreement with Dublin City Council.
The Department of Foreign Affairs are supportive of the establishment of a Friendship Agreement as is the Embassy of the Palestinian Authority in Ireland.
It is said that twinning can seek to strengthen or develop common interests or express solidarity between the people of the two cities. There may be opportunities to work on problem-solving or develop innovative solutions with partners around key challenges.